Cure JM Foundation 2016 Annual Conference Recap

Coping Skills & Challenges for JM Families Workshop

Presented by Carol Schwartz, member of Cure JM’s Leadership Council and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private practice in Los Angeles. Her area of expertise is Gerontology and counseling patients with chronic illness. She is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work.

During this session, Carol helped families learn about the normal feeling states that go along with coping with chronic disease. Grief, anger, denial, sadness, acceptance are all part of the cycle that we go through, more than once.

Coping with a life-altering diagnosis like Juvenile Myositis is difficult for the whole family, including patients, siblings, caregivers, and extended family.  In this session, caregivers explored some common emotional and physical side effects of caring for a child with a chronic disease.  Carol offered real-world coping strategies and offered practical tips for caregivers to take home and use in their daily life.

Carol also noted that it is important to remember three areas of balance:

  1. Child’s illness needs balanced with their normal developmental needs
  2. Balance child’s needs with other competing family needs- parents alone and together, other children
  3. Balance is achieved with efforts at normalcy in family routine, rituals and identity

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